Skip to content

From crafts to board games, everything old is new again in a COVID-19 world

Columnist Wendy King suggests when the future is uncertain, it's a good time to return to what has worked in the past
board game
Stock image

Hasn’t it been interesting how the farther along we get in this COVID-19 lockdown, the farther back in time we go?

I’ve found it fascinating that people are returning to what our parents, grandparents or great-grandparents did to get through tough times.

Technology aside, think about how most of us are returning to simpler activities.

Look at all the photos of people doing jigsaw puzzles. I don’t think I’ve done a puzzle in decades, but they are certainly back in vogue. Same goes for board games (Monopoly, Clue and Scrabble). People seem to be dusting off the old books and old vinyl records.

It has been really interesting to see children doing so many crafts or actually playing outside.

I literally stopped and watched the other day as I saw a father from next door teaching his little boy about street hockey, which he’s been able to do with no traffic. It was so nice.

Sidewalk chalk drawings are the new graffiti. And what an improvement!

People of all ages are painting and doing diamond art projects or sewing, masks and otherwise.

The old classic comedies are enjoying a resurgence. Everyone is yearning for a simpler time and if a 30-minute sitcom can take us to a happier place then so be it.

Drive-ins are making headlines again. They may become the safe way to gather in groups albeit in our vehicles to watch a movie. With all that open space and audio/video connections already in place, they could also be used for church services.

Keith Urban recently did a live concert at a Nashville drive-in, and reported it worked perfectly for giving fans a live show while adhering to social distancing. What a smart idea! Live music, group feel and you can bring your own snacks.

Kitchens are getting used and in some cases overused. 

I’m not sure what the connection is between a pandemic and sour dough but there sure is a lot of bread making going on.

Comfort food abounds. Casseroles, stews, soups and cookies. Those great old recipe books are being dragged out of the basement and given new life.

If memory serves, this is just what Grandma did. Family love was shown through food preparation and sharing. The smell of freshly baked biscuits was all that was required to feel happy and content.

Clearly, it works still today. People are still showing love through the making or sharing of food with friends and neighbours whether that comes in a covered Corningware dish or from Skip the Dishes.

So many pastimes or hobbies that may have fallen a bit by the wayside are back with a vengeance.

Gardening has always been popular, but I think even more so now as people are desperate to get out in the fresh air. A lot of folks are trying their green thumbs at a backyard or patio garden.

Cats are no longer the only bird watchers in the family. People seem absolutely delighted to see and identify the feathery visitors in the yard.

With necessity being the mother of invention, how many moms or dads have been cast in the role of hairstylist? Talk about throwback Saturdays! Mom would cut, curl or otherwise torture us with the smelly Toni perm so our hair would look Shirley Temple-esque for Sunday church.

At this moment, the thought of her taming my mane seems like heaven even if she cut my bangs crooked and then had to keep taking a little more here and a little more there until there was a thin line of fringe left.

Children are once again learning at the feet of their parents. Mom and Dad have always been our first teachers, but not quite as they are expected to be now.

There are so many ways we are going back in time during this time of uncertainty.

That “greatest generation” was strong, smart, resilient and determined.

It will do us well to take a page from their guidebook.